Chris Thorn

Senior Associate, Director of Knowledge Management

Chris Thorn
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Chris Thorn is Carnegie's director of knowledge management, where he leads the knowledge management work for the Foundation's oldest networked improvement community — the Community College Pathways. The Pathways project has been successful in improving mathematics outcomes for traditionally under-served students. Carnegie is now using improvement methods to scale proven interventions to deliver the same transformative opportunities to many more students.

Thorn joined Carnegie from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research. His work there focused on identifying and addressing organizational and technical gaps in information systems in education, the selection and use of multiple measures of educational effectiveness, and the design and implementation of decision support systems at the state-, district-, and school-levels. Thorn also had both research and hands-on experience with the increasingly complex data requirements of current educational reform efforts.

In 2012, Thorn joined Carnegie to direct the Advancing Teaching - Improving Learning (ATIL) program. The program gathers experts involved in the conceptualization, development, implementation, and use of teacher evaluation systems to focus on how these systems are best used to make consequential judgments about teachers. From August 2013 to July 2015, Thorn worked with Senior Partner Alicia Grunow to develop Carnegie’s Center for Networked Improvement. The role of the Center was to support Carnegie’s partners by developing and promoting an infrastructure to cull and synthesize the best of what we know from scholarship and practice, rapidly develop and test prospective improvements, deploy what we learned about what works in schools and classrooms, and add to our knowledge to continuously improve the performance of educational systems.

Chris Thorn received a B.A. in economics and German language from Indiana University and an M.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in international relations from The Johns Hopkins University, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Chris Thorn earned his doctorate in sociology from the University of Bielefeld, Germany.